This message was preached by Alex Godinho at Word of Grace Church on May 6th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
In Nigeria, when I was walking with my colleagues, a friend of my stepped onto a pile of cowdung and slipped and fell on it. Sometimes, I think our life is like that- we are going along and suddenly find ourselves in a mess. It is not expected. We think we are all in control and suddenly something comes up. It could be a misunderstanding in a family- arguing, bitterness and we wonder how we got there. Maybe someone is in the centre of this kind of a mess. It is like an addiction that is fun at the beginning and suddenly you find that you can’t get out of it. Or a financial issue- it starts off as small loans and then one day you realise that you are in a huge mess. If you are struggling with this mess, the Bible has many words of encouragement.
The book of Revelation was written for our encouragement and not to scare us. Many early church leaders were killed for their faith. John, Jesus’ beloved disciple, was stranded in the island of Patmos. Christians were really in a hard season and wondering if there was a God and someone to help them. This is where the book of Revelation comes to tell us that he is coming back. Jesus shows up personally through a revelation. Rev 1:1- “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place”. Revelation means unveiling of Jesus. The New Testament gives a picture of Jesus- in his humility, serving people, compassionate and loving. But in Revelation we see another side of Jesus. Jesus in his glory! We get a bigger picture of Jesus. He is a conquering warrior. When we see who Jesus is in his glory, we can let him take control. Jesus wins and he wins all the time! So through faith we can share in his victory.
We also need encouragement – so we need to remember that Jesus wins.
1. Recognise the real Jesus- If look at the news there is total chaos. If Jesus is not at the centre of our lives, we too can end up in chaos. We could succeed but won’t be lasting success. Rev 1:4-5 “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” Of all the names that we read of Jesus in the Bible, this is the coolest to me- he is the ruler of the kings of the earth. This is significant because in the olden days, kings dominated every sector of society. They controlled media, arts, commerce, etc. When Jesus comes along in Revelation, he is called the ruler of the kings of the earth. Jesus is saying, I am Large and in-charge.
Peter and Paul died for their faith and even John is exiled in the island of Patmos. But when we are in the darkest hour, we need to remember that God is still in-charge. When you look beyond your immediate circumstances, you will see that Jesus is bigger.
2. Share in Jesus’ victory- Jesus redeems our mistakes. Jesus gave his life so that things could be put right. In Rev 1:5 “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”. Our responsibility is to receive his grace and his mercy. We believe that God forgives. But has he forgiven me? It took me a long time to realise that God has forgiven me completely. If you put your trust in him, he forgives. Jesus was more than enough to pay for our sins. So we are here to share in his victory. Rev 1:6 “and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” This phrase kingdom of priests comes from the Old Testament when the Israelites are brought out of Egypt and did not know their identity. So God gives them identity- that they are a kingdom of priests. We are the same. You are not what people say you are. You are who God says you are. He says we are loved, we are a kingdom of priests, equipped to serve and follow him. Rev 2:17 “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” In Pergamum- white stone represents someone who won a victory. Athletes in that day would get a white stone that signifies that they are winners. We don’t have to wait to receive that stone because we are already victors.
3. Look forward to Jesus’ return- we all go through rough times but we need to endure. I was pushed around at work and not given what I deserved for 19 years, but in 6 years I was promoted more than what I would have earned in those 19 years. We need to hang on to our hope in Christ, no matter what the difficulty in front of us. Look beyond the junk. Rev 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him,even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”So shall it be! Amen.” We will live with God forever. When he first came, he came as a baby in a manger, in meekness. But when he returns he will be the conquering king, the Lord of lords, seen by everyone, a judge, bringing peace to the world. Jesus wins and we share in his victory.
Your life is marked by your love for God and love for people. At the end of your life this is what counts. It is not more complex than this. Look at the people He has placed in your life and start valuing them. We need to start forgiving and understanding one another. Love God and Love others. Let’s pray.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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